At 5 a.m. on Tuesday a Boeing 767 flown by the German carrier Condor arrived at Juan Santamaría International Airport outside Costa Rica’s capital for the inauguration of the company’s third weekly flight between Frankfurt and San José.
The new flight adds to two weekly flights the carrier operates on Mondays and Thursdays and responds “to a greater demand for European travelers and our reading of the traveling trends to the Costa Rican market,” said Condor Airport Manager Óscar Álvarez.
“We have developed an accurate reading pointing at a higher demand from Germany and the entire European community for travel to Costa Rica, which allows us to anticipate the competition in meeting the needs of European tourists and even increasing our export load capacity,” Álvarez added during a welcome ceremony held at the airport.
Local tourism officials also greeted travelers with souvenirs, music and folk dances. Costa Rican Tourism Board General Manager Alberto López said the route expansion would help increase the number of European tourists arriving in the country.
“Last year alone we registered more than 300,000 arrivals of European travelers, representing a 5.6 percent increase compared to 2012. Germany, Spain, France and the United Kingdom currently are the main market sources of tourists to Costa Rica,” Álvarez said.
Rafael Mencia, CEO of Aeris, the company that administrates the Juan Santamaría terminal, said the German market in 2013 accounted for 18.19 percent of Europeans who arrived in the country, and currently is the main source of tourists from that continent.
This year five airlines have announced new flights to the country. Avianca, AeroMéxico, JetBlue, Delta and United will increase flights to the country’s two international airports: Juan Santamaría and Daniel Oduber, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. Cubana de Aviación will resume a nonstop flight to the island later this month.
Also in recent days, Thomson Airways and Southwest Airlines confirmed new flights in 2015, while Turkish Airlines and VivaColombia currently are in negotiations for opening routes to Costa Rica.